Tag Archives: Science Please!

Science Please! part 2 from Canada’s National Film Board

I wrote about part 1 of this series which ran both as 1 minute snippets which were then compiled into a 30 min. DVD and two 15 minute online compilations (Parts 1 and 2), in my April 1, 2010 posting but didn’t include any excerpts from the interview with the series producer, Marc Bertrand. On the occasion of tripping across part 2 of the series compilation, here’s a little information about it from Bertrand’s interview in Carolyn Weldon’s March 26, 2010 posting on Canada’s National Film Board (NFB) blog,

Marc Bertrand, a producer with the NFB’s French Program, looks back on the time he spent working on Science Please! with great fondness. It was his first job at the NFB, and he’d been given a clear mandate with 3 objectives: to focus on science, incorporate archival footage, and use animation. The target audience: 9 – 12 year olds.

“It’s kind of amazing,” says Marc, “there’s a certain pride in knowing that we managed to explain electricity in a minute. Just one minute. That’s not a long time.”

Marc attributes his success to the creative freedom he was given.

Because he wasn’t tied to any particular pedagogical program, he and his team were able to choose whatever subjects they wanted to take on.

“You’ll notice, for example, that most of the video clips are about subjects in physics rather than biology. We made this choice because knowledge in the area of physics is the most stable. There’s not much chance that new discoveries are going to put into question Archimedes’ Principle,” Marc explains.

The huge success of the series is also attributable to the quality of the visual elements. The NFB has some outstanding animators who agreed to illustrate one or two of these video clips in between their work on larger projects.

At the end of the interview, Bertrand mentions that he’s working on a new project, one about the brain. I did search but have not found any indication that this project has been released or completed yet.

Getting back to Science Please!, I’m not sure when part 2 was released but you can find it here now. It runs for approximately 15 minutes.